Posted on msnbc.com in June, this article explores how some tumors are being found too early due to screenings. To find out more, read here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37690573/ns/health-cancer/
Save the Date for the following fundraisers to benefit Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana.
The Ballroom at the Freemason’s Hall
Doors open at 6 PM, Auction Begins at 7:30 PM
Tickets $10, available at Cancer Services
Saturday, October 16- Beat BC 5K
Central Noble High School
Registration 7:30-8 AM
Fun Run 8:15 AM
Race Begins 8:30 AM
by Gail Hamm, Program Director
There is a certain tension between caregivers and patients- a delicate dance, if you will. Each tries to protect the other. And even if communication was good before the need for caregiving, there may still be times of conflict and hurt feelings. Important things may not be said because it is difficult to talk about the “elephant in the living room.” At other times, it is difficult to understand each other’s perspective.
I have watched this dance play out in many ways. From the perspective of the cancer survivor (a person is a survivor from the day of diagnosis, by the way)… I have heard this person ask, “How do I get my family to accept the new me?” Sometimes the “new me” looks, acts, sounds, ambulates, or eats differently from the “me” before diagnosis and treatment. The “new me” is who he is now, and cannot go back. There is no choice. The survivor is making accommodations to survive and thrive in his new way of living. It takes a lot of time and perseverance to assume the new mantle of self, find meaning from the experience, and survive day-to-day. In addition, he may also be short- tempered and frustrated, and just plain not feeling well.
It can be difficult for the caregiver to accept the “new me,” precisely because there is a “new me.” Out of love, the caregiver offers food and advice. And when the survivor refuses or only eats a little, the caregiver can become extremely frustrated. There may also be the unspoken fear that, “If I don’t feed him, he will die…. it’s my responsibility to nurture my husband and keep him alive.” There is a certain feeling of impotency and helplessness in not being able to protect and save our loved ones.
Caregivers, out of their love for the survivors, are struggling to provide assistance, but what they are offering may be rebuffed…not out of diminished love or caring, but because the survivor wants to do it in his or her own way. To the caregiver it feels like rejection. To the person being cared for, it feels like smothering. In either case, both are trying their best to maintain relationships while dealing with a new lifestyle for which no one asked nor planned.
If you are in this situation, I highly recommend the support group venue as a way to share triumphs and dilemmas. Others have dealt with what you may be experiencing. In coming to a support group and sharing, caregivers and survivors are bringing problems out into the open and finding solutions. Listening to others provides new perspectives and renewed energy for the caregiver/patient dance. Cancer Services offers a variety of support groups. Check out the possibilities at cancer-services.org or call 260-484-9560 or toll free 866-484-9560.
Linda Bewley, our outreach coordinator, along with volunteers Susan Swardenski and Bill Seidel, have been busy as we ramp up for Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. Last week they traveled throughout Northeast Indiana to put up blue ties and banners to raise awareness in our community. We’d like to thank all of the business, healthcare facilities, and government offices that are helping us with this effort by allowing us to put up our ties:
Strickler Cancer Center at Adams Memorial Hospital in Decatur, Bluffton Regional Medical Center in Bluffton, Bluffton Regional Cancer Center in Bluffton, Pill Box Pharmacy in Warsaw, Parkview LaGrange in LaGrange, Dekalb Memorial Hospital in Auburn, Cameron Memorial Community Hospital Regional Cancer Center in Angola, Parkview Whitley in Columbia City, Parkview Huntington, St. Rd. 6 on the Hayden Rental property, NEIU Prostate Cancer Center in Fort Wayne, Allen County Courthouse Lawn, The Community Center, and The Towne House Retirement Community.
by Nimal Gernando, cancer survivor and Cancer Services client
One beautiful day in June 2008, I was attending a conference in Indianapolis and developed a slight and sudden pain in my lower abdomen. I tried to shrug it off, but it didn’t go away and actually got worse. I had a bad feeling about it, so I decided to head home. I called my wife on the way, and she suggested that I call the doctor. The doctor saw me right away, but he couldn’t find anything and suggested that I get a CAT scan. The scan showed a tumor blocking my colon, so I had a colonoscopy, which confirmed the tumor and I underwent surgery to remove it immediately. That was the beginning of a new life for me and one that has been humbling and challenging.
After my diagnosis, I found Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana, which has been a huge source of support and encouragement to me and my family. My Client Advocate, Brandon, has been there at every turn and has never hesitated to provide the information that I need. I have also been enjoying the massages provided through its new program, Caring Touch. The experience is so relaxing and comforting. I am thankful to Cancer Services for the support and services provided on my journey.
My life goes on and I am enjoying it to the fullest. I have learned to look on the bright side and have been counting my blessings. I have two boys: Nathan (8) and Nelig (7). My wife, Shanthinie, has been strong and is taking care of me and the two boys with much courage and perseverance. She is scared, yet she has been there to support me and take care of the family throughout this journey. We do not have family in the area, so she has found strength in the community, especially from our church family, which has rallied around us and offered encouragement and support. Life is a struggle but I am keeping my hope alive.
The church’s sign said, “Lord, please give me the persistence of a weed.”
Wow, what would it be like to be a weed? To push yourself through an impossibly hard obstacle and stretch your arms to the sun. To bake in burning heat day after day and then glory in a rain shower. To endure repeated cuts and still come back strong.
What would it be like to be a weed? To be as pure and delicate as Queen Anne’s Lace, as blue as cornflowers, and as bright as dandelions.
I’ve decided that weeds are under-valued. I think they have something to teach us. Weeds have adapted over time to survive in places and situations that no one thought would be possible. Cancer can feel like that. Insurmountable, impossible to defeat and yet it happens. People triumph over the disease, sometimes by living long and sometimes by living well. Lord, give me the persistence of a weed.
On Friday, August 13, several members of the Us TOO support group joined Parkview at Parkview Field for free PSA screenings. The Us TOO groups volunteered to help with registration and in turn were able to promote our Prostate Cancer Awareness intiatives.
This is the afternoon registration team. The tee shirts with blue ties are part of Cancer Services’ annual prostate cancer awareness and educational events called “Tie1on 4Prostate Cancer.” Pictured, from left to right: Front row: Jim Stein, Bob Vodde, Laine Seidel and back row: Fred Barnes, Larry Kumfer, Mel Smith, Bill Seidel, Paul Blanks
Registrars at work: Bob Vodde and Laine Seidel
The “Outdoor Crew,” which is particularly meaningful as temperatures were in the low 90s and heat indexes above 100. The entrance to the stadium is several hundred yards from the testing site, and the route between the two was not intuitive. These men guided people from the stadium entrance to the test site, and also provided wheel chair service to those who needed it. From left to right, the volunteers are Dan Rhodes and Jon Colbert.
Jon Colbert helps a gentleman who came to take advantage of the free PSA.
For more information about Cancer Services Tie1On4 Prostate Cancer activities, visit cancer-services.org.
We are sponsoring a seminar on prostate cancer and men’s sexual health on Saturday, September 18, from 9 AM to 1 PM. The event will be held at our facility, 6316 Mutual Drive.
The seminar will feature the following presentations:
- Prostate Cancer: PSA Screening, and the Option of Watchful Waiting, presented by Jeff Schneider, M.D.
- Maintaining and Enhancing Men’s Sexual Health, presented by Janet Casperson, PA
- The Role of Nutrition in Preventing and Fighting Prostate Cancer
- The Role of Exercise in Preventing and Fighting Prostate Cancer, presented by Michelle Lefevra
- Surgical Options for Treating Prostate Cancer, presented by Mark Dabagia, M.D.
- Systematic Treatment of Prostate Cacncer: Hormonal Therapy, Provenge Vaccine, and Chemotherapy, presented by Musaberk Goksel, M.D.
To reserve your spot, call (260) 484-9560, or for more information, visit cancer-services.org.